Major Visayas-Mindanao (VisMin) developer Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) wants to be more active in the government’s socialized housing program.
In a recent online press briefing, CLI senior executive vice-president and chief operating officer Jose Franco Soberano disclosed the company is ready to take a more active role in socialized housing to address the housing shortage in the country.
“Socialized housing is close to our hearts and we’ll definitely do more. The location of socialized housing projects shouldn’t be far from the needs of our residents,” Soberano told the Business Mirror during the interview.
He said the cost of building a unit is a huge challenge for developers like CLI. According to Soberano, the maximum price for CLI is P580,000 per unit. He said CLI also needs to look for an affordable project site to make the housing project affordable to the buyers. “We should also be particular that the location should be one hour away from the major city,” Soberano pointed out.
Despite the challenges facing the socialized housing program, Soberano remains optimistic “because the government is doing its part to make sure the ceilings are reasonable so that we will not compromise the quality of a good product.”
Soberano said CLI has successfully completed Villa Casita North, a socialized housing project located in Barangay La Paz, Bogo City and is one of the company’s best sellers. It is CLI’s first foray into the socialized housing market. Right now, CLI is developing another socialized housing project in Mactan.
According to the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), the country has a 6.5 million housing backlog that could reach the 10-million mark in 2028. From 2021 to June 2022, the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), the DHSUD produced 294,142 housing units, while the National Housing Authority provided housing assistance to 85,174 families.
Aside from socialized housing projects, the DHSUD formed a partnership with local government units (LGU) to develop a Local Shelter Planning (LSP) manual to guide them in responding to the housing demand.
Meanwhile, Soberano said CLI experienced a rousing start in 2023, posting a consolidated revenue growth of 33% in the year’s opening quarter to P4.78 billion from P3.58 billion.
“Our unwavering commitment to excellence at CLI led to double-digit expansions in sales, hotel operations, leasing, and management fees,” Soberano said. “We believe that our remarkable Q1 2023 financial performance sets the tone for the rest of the year, inspiring confidence in our shareholders while reinforcing our position as the leading developer in VisMin and a major contributor to Philippine real estate.”
The company’s net income to parent posted a 10% year-on-year growth, reaching P888 million, which is attributed to the strong performance across all business units at CLI. On the other hand, Q1 consolidated net income soared to P1.17 billion, 43% higher year-on-year.
CLI also achieved a 33% growth in revenue from real estate sales totaling P4.71 billion, on the back of the increased number of qualified units for revenue recognition and construction progress.
The company also had a significant 16% year-on-year growth as reservation sales take-up hit P5.22 billion. The company’s economic flagship brand, Casa Mira, accounted for 52% of the sales. By location, Cebu made up the bulk of the sales with 40% generated from all project areas across VisMin.
CLI’s hotel operations also showed a remarkable recovery, with a YoY growth of 79% to P29 million driven by improved room rates as business and tourism travel normalized further in 2023.
Soberano said CLI is also planning to establish a presence in Southern Luzon in the provinces of Bicol and Batangas. Aside from Palawan, we want to be present in Camarines Sur, Naga City and Lipa City.
Looking ahead, CLI is also building its brand in the tourism and leisure market. Three new hospitality projects, namely lyf Cebu City in Base Line Center, Citadines Bacolod City and The Pad Co-Living in Banilad High Street, are scheduled to commence operations this year.
Soberano said these projects are expected to contribute to the company’s hotel revenue, with CLI managing a total of 657 keys by the end of the year—more than a threefold increase from the 180 rooms in 2022.